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Every week, a key discussion point is a town-wide topic; this may intersect with one of the other articles I’ve written here (so I might find a different angle in this one), but there’s usually A few obvious topics dominated the conversation.

Ahead of Gameweek 1 2021/22, I think it’s fair to say there’s more interest in defenders than ever before.

The question becomes: Should you “go big in the back” in Game 1, with four or even five guards in your starting lineup?

More articles in this series:

Historically, defenders have been ignored by FPL managers in favour of big midfielders and forwards.

But that trend has been reversed in recent years, with Marcos Alonso in Chelsea pomp (still in the FPL for £5.5m, but we’re not sure he’ll stay), Liverpool’s OG full-back hero Andrew Robertson (£7m), Robertson’s colleague Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) and Manchester City’s new No. 7 Joao Cancelo (£7m) are the two giants these days.

These frenzied full-backs are now key players in the FPL as they offer multiple avenues for scoring: both because their teams have a solid defence (Manchester City and Liverpool conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League last season), which means they There is potential for a clean sheet, and because they alone provide excellent creative numbers.

Robertson is one of the top scorers in the FPL every year
Robertson is one of the top scorers in the FPL every year

Last year, Trent Alexander Arnold scored the most goals of any defender – in addition, he surpassed many midfielders and forwards with his 2 goals, 12 assists and 208 points.Cancelo also scored 200 points for the first time last season, but only one goal was unlucky –statsbomb data programme He is four years old. Both are great options to start the season — you might even consider pairing Trent with Robertson, who averaged 6.2 points in the final 10 game weeks of last season.

If we take into account that Trent (57.5% at the time of writing) and Cancelo (45%) are likely to be in many teams, then if you bet without them, their team is a loser The ball, as well as any offensive return, will be damaged.

There are also some more popular defensive options. Chelsea’s Reece James (£6m) had the most points per 90 (6.8) in 39.5% of the teams last season. Tottenham’s Ivan Perisic (£5.5m) is also of interest, with Matt Cash (£5m, 20.6%) and Kieran Trippier (£5m). 10,000 pounds, holding a 17.1% stake) as well.

You don’t forget that all of these players, while nominally defenders, are actively involved in the team’s offense. In my opinion, the era of defense-intensive teams has truly arrived.

But is it worth having a back four in your FPL team? Even a back five?

Perisic is FPL's defender this season
Perisic is FPL’s defender this season

Well, in my own opinion, four is fine. The advantages of these guards are obvious, which means that pairing 4 of them on the bench with a cheap 5th guard allows you to cover the base of these potential high scorers while maintaining flexibility; you should There is enough moolah to build a strong midfield and get a couple of good strikers.

With five, I feel like it takes too much imbalance out of the team and you become inflexible if things don’t go your way. I think in a lot of teams I’ve seen, especially when the back is given to the midfielder, the midfield ends up being diluted because you pay extra to get the cash back. This doesn’t necessarily put you at a disadvantage, but it could mean if the midfield or striker trend is early and you don’t have a team structure to accommodate anyone “must have” players right now.

I’ll leave that to you of course; I’m a huge fan of FPL centre-backs (especially attacking full-backs/full-backs) and I totally understand why you might want to go all out at the back.

Every game week, Tom comes from Who got help? FPL Podcast Will bring you tips, transfer advice and all the advice you need to win the mini-league.

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